Would love some feedback / Denon DL-S1 / phono match / cart recomendations


Would love some feedback / Denon DL-S1 / phono match / cart recomendations

- Vinyl newbie and need some help

- Friend has a brand new  Denon DL-S1 for $600 - good deal?

- I have a Mark Levinson No.326s preamp and just bought the dual mono MM/MC Phono module boards. They are the identical boards from the No,32 preamp and read that was a very nice sounding phono preamp.

- No.326s only has a couple settings 42db or 60 db and 47k ohm or 200 ohm load

- I picked up a used Bob's Device 1131 thinking it would help as my No.326s has limited setting options and read the 1131 might not work well with this cart. That this cart is tough to get the most out of but can be great.

- Should I get another cart? Was it a mistake getting the 1131 SUT. I read the No.326s sounded nice with this SUT so went for it but don't know enough to really know better either way but trying to learn.

- The No.326s phono boards has these little gold terminal screws with easy tighten by hand little knobs on the heads of the screws to add either capacitor or resistor to make the phono very adjustable but would have no idea how to figure out how to use that but thought to mention

- just wondering if this is a bad cart for me to try with my phono and SUT set up and any feedback about anything related to a cart would be super appreciated if anyone reads this. Thanks

more info if helpful below but not need to answer my question just thought to add it :)

______________________________________________________________________________________


I just finished up a full system re-fit with some tweaking here and there still to do but I am extremely happy with the sound I’m getting today from my new to me system. I sold my entire old system that was tubes and high efficiency speakers and got new to me: speakers, amp, preamp, speaker cables and upgraded digital transport and got a new turntable. Kept my DAC never changing that. Love my DAC. 

This system is the best I’ve personally ever had. I’m pretty psyched - so psyched I just added a turntable. 

A modern Version of the VPI Prime Aries with HRX Feet, 10" 3D Arm and Base, Prime Signature Platter, Ring and Motor. 

I am looking for a cart and my friend has a new Denon DL-S1 for $600 he also has a  used but good shape Clearaudio Accurate mc cart for a few hundred but i never heard of this one and a  van den Hul blackheart grass hopper which I know nothing of.

I thought because the Denon is new never used that was the best option but any of you know anything about the other let me know please.
  
Would love some feedback / ideas / thought recommendations and help. I’m a digital guy and want to give vinyl and honest to goodness try.

As stated above I just purchased the dual mono Phono board modules for my
Mark Levinson No.326s linestage so it’s now a full function Preamp and added a Bobs Device 1131 SUT and both were attained a very reasonable cost which was great!

Just not sure if these carts will go with my phono and SUT.

Rest of my System:
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5160

- Magico S5 Loudspeakers
- Pass Labs X350.5 Amplifier
- Mark Levinson No.326s Preamp/phonostage
- Bricasti M1 Special Edition DAC
- PS Audio P10 Power Plant
- Kubala-Sosna Emotion SC’s
- Nordost/Cardas IC’s
- Assorted PC's Verastarr/Cardas

- Digital PC based front end that I have been tweaking and evolving:
- Sonore microRendu 1.4
- Full Suite of UpTone Audio Gear
(2) x LPS-1 Ultra Capacitor PS
JS-2 Linear Power Supply
(2) Regens - ISO/Amber
- (8) Canare / Oyide DC cables
- (2) Breeze Audio 12v LPS
- Tellurium Q Black Diamond Reference USB cable
- Curious Regen Link USB Cable.

This Digital Front End beat out: Lumin, Antipodes, Naim and Auralic servers. It needs everything to work so well but man does it work great. My hope is that a turntable can complete and wish some luck I end up liking it better. That’s why I’m asking for help. I want to put my best vinyl foot forward 

** Back Ground info**

** Room is **
14 x 24 w/Cathedral Ceilings - 16 Foot a peak

** Music likes **
Assorted Music but no metal or loud hard rock anymore really - not much Large Scale classical either but everything else. I listen just loud enough to sound its best but not a loud listener. I enjoy normal levels.

** Likes / Priorities **
Transparency - Delicacy - Linear - High resolution - microscope but not sterile not etched or lifeless -some natural warmth and life to the music is key  but love that see through transparency and love precise soundstage - remove as many layers without being clinical - tight bass - hate flab - but don’t need worlds greatest slam but love speed and accurate bass while being musical.

** Perspective **
I’m only a couple months into this new system and I was struggling to get the right Preamp and tried a half dozen or so searching for the right balance and the one that could bring my new system together like only the perfect matching preamp can do. Each system is different so really it must be heard to know it’s what you want. I believe in the Preamp and knew If I could find the right match it would change everything. Well that was the hope.

To make a long story longer the Mark Levinson No.326s preamp did this and more. I was hedging my expectations based on the disappointments of the others I tried and failed but the No. 326s nailed it and honestly it an incredible Preamp and then some. I was so happy I decided to upgrade and add the built in phonostage option and SUT and Turntable here we are trying to chose a cart.

Really appreciate any help you can provide! I know this is kind of long but wanted you guys to know where I’m coming from! If you would like more info please let me know - all comments and feedback are most welcome and deeply appreciated :)




1528a8b5 9c9b 446d 85c5 0d31e7947394Ag insider logo xs@2xfsmithjack
I think it is a good deal for unused (NOS) DL-S1 cartridge and then you can buy dedicated AU-S1 SUT made by Denon in 1992 for this cartridge. https://www.denon.jp/jp/museum/products/aus1.html When you're done all you need is MM phono stage with 47k Ohm to connect your SUT. 
One of the things you need to know are the output for the cartridges. I looked up the Denon, and you can find the others with a web search or on vinylengine.com

The Denon is very low output .15 mv. See the link below so you can use the tools to determine whether the cartridge would be suitable in your system. I don't know what gain your transformer has, but it should be in the manual. The output from the Denon is too low to run directly into the MC stage on your ML.

https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database_tools.php#VoltageCurrentStylusVelocity

 42db and 47k ohm is suitable for a MM or used in conjunction with a transformer for a MC. 60 db and 200 ohm load is used for direct input of a MC 

@jperry 

 60 db and 200 ohm load is used for direct input of a MC

100 ohm by default
The is the info on my SUT is below. I sort of understand it but not sure what to do about it type of thing. It adds gain that I will need and that he said it was designed to be used for real low output MC cart which this one sure seems to be .15. Someone wrote that the problem is that it needs to be loaded down and that hurts the gain and why a passive SUT is not ideal but again not really sure what that means - well i kind of do but not sure what to do about it,   

Cinemag 1131

Ultra High quality laminations, lower inductance and superior sound.  These transformers were especially designed  and tested with several low-output moving coil cartridges.  These are very difficult transformers to construct and require a precision manufacturing process that can only be done by David Geren at CineMag.

Includes premium construction with C&K Brand Silver contact toggle switches, and Deluxe Gold Plated RCA jacks.

These specially designed transformers are wired to connect a moving coil cartridge (on a turntable) to a phono preamplifier, phono input.

Switchable for 1:20 (26 dB gain) or 1:40 (32 dB gain).  

Into a standard 47k phono preamp, the effective input impedance of the low gain (1:20 ratio) is  118 ohms.  At 1:40, the effective input impedance is 29 ohms.

The 1:40 ratio is perfect for those extremely low output cartridges including some by Audio Notes and Ortofon SPU.

Do this info mean if I buy the Denon that I set my Levinson to 47k ohm and 42 db and then set this to 1:20 or 1:20? 

If I use this SUT do you guys think it will sound ok or should get another cart? My buddy has the cart and would really like to buy from him if it will work ok. Thanks guys 


I meant 1:20 or 1:40 type-o. Thanks 
I’ve had a nice long run with a DL-S1. It’s a great cartridge, though a tad less impressive than an Audio Technica ART-7 with similar low output. They both work well at +76db on my Pass XP-25, loaded down to 100R or 50R. There are some well-regarded Hashimoto step-up transformers on ebay in the $500 range that you might consider as an alternative to Cinemag.
I already bought the Cinemag - I thought they were really good? Not so much?
@chakster 

just quoting the OP 

“- No.326s only has a couple settings 42db or 60 db and 47k ohm or 200 ohm load“
What do you guys think? With my gear is the S1 worth giving a shot for $600? Thanks 
@fsmithjack if you already have CineMag SUT then use 1:40 for your Denon S1, because the output of your cartridge is lower than any SPU! Connect your SUT to MM input and you’re done.

I use Luxman AD8000 with type 8030 SUT for low output MC with impedance from 1.5 to 3.5 ohm and it works fine even with my 0.05 mV Ortofon MC2000 or 0.15 mV Fidelity-Research FR-7f

Another option is Zyx CPP-1 headamp also connected to MM input. 
Agreed.  It's worth having a step-up in your arsenal for very LOMC.  If you're not satisfied, you can always experiment with an alternative SUT at a reasonable cost relative to a top LOMC cartridge. 
I've used that cartridge with a Cinemag SUT & it sounds good together. That cart has a lot of detail, although it's not bright. For the music you listen to, it should work out well. Literally wore that one out. The suspension gave way after many, many, hours.  
Thats awesome !!! Thanks boxer12
Go for the VdH Grasshopper. VdH's carts always sound awesome. In another league. The exposed body is delicate so be very careful when mounting and adjusting it and keep anything magnetic, especially screwdrivers, far, far away.

Dave

After 40 years in this hobby I deed it the other way round.

''My kingdom for a horse'' is focused on the person and his

needs. But what  about the horse? My brother Don (Griffits)

loves his dogs more than anybody else. To me a horse is much

more and more impressive than whatever dog. In short I just bought

for the first time in my life a cart for a SUT. There are people who

are scared by  horses while I was scared by the SUT's. Why?

Well because Dertonarm whom I much admire advised

''correspondence '' between inductance and impedance of both

component . In my case this would mean at least 10 SUT's.

Alas I am not family member of  the family Rockefeller. I don't

even believe that ''our Thuchan'' owns 10 SUT's despite the

fact that he owns more than 10 TT's . Nearly as many as  our

Lew who, curiously, does not own a single SUT. Anyway I ever

bought Denon AU-S1 which, according to its manual ''covers

 2 till 40 Ohms '' carts. My MC collection  ''covers'' about 30

''top'' MC carts. I was so impressed with  my Denon SUT that

 I treat the thing as if it become my ''primary''  horse.

For ''him''  I  bought the S1 cart which, also according to the

manual, was special made for the AU-S1. I obviously care

for my SUT . In about one week time both will be united.

Till then than.  

dlcockrum - thanks my friend is a fantastic guy - very nice and always helpful and super generous with his time but also with his actual gear. He is still a dealer of sorts out of his home and loft and use to be a big dealer and knows all the who's big dealers, OEM's and writers personally and well, such a great sort of eccentric guy who will give you the shirt off his back if you let him who's probably double my age and forgot more than I will ever know. Such a nice and knowledgeable guy I am glad to consider my friend.

He has totally hooked me up a few times but I always return the favor and have gone out of the way to make sure I reciprocate that generosity and then some at times just because I appreciate anyone that goes out of their way to help me. Just how I am built.  We are funny. We both sort of try to out due each other hooking each other up with gear that is not in use in our main systems.

My wife is like, you are just giving that to him. I'm like yeah he gave me this. It's funny and cool. These are the carts he has but the Denon is not his but what he can get it for me for. 

He's funny and talks real fast and kind of hard to know what he meant when he said  VdH Grasshopper works great and you will love it but it has this little thing that needs to be glued back in place but won't effect the sound and should be easy to do. Wasn't what he meant so was thinking maybe better off with the Denon but if it needs a little repair that he thinks will be easy to do does that make sense? I am the digital guy and he is the analogue guy so I defer to him.

He tells me the Clearaudio Accurate MC cart is a great cart also but I never even heard of it. 
,  

nandric - thanks for the info - let me know how yours sounds. I actually got the SUT before I knew about this cart option. I read the 1131 SUT makes my No.326s sound much nicer is why I bought it but I am too new to vinyl to understand the hows and why's but I am learning.

I love my Levinson No.326s preamp and was looking all over for the right preamp for my new re-fit system. I tried a half dozen and was getting frustrated because I liked my Bricasti direct much more over all the other preamps I tried until my Levinson. It blew me away and was way way better than my Bricasti direct. I was so psyched.

I then was able to find brand new Levinson phono modules for $800 so I jumped. I then came across a the 1131 SUT for $730 so thought that was a nice match to my Levinson because what I read so jumped there also. Now my buddy has access to this Denon S1 for $600 and thought I could get a pretty competent little set up for not too crazy money.

I know its not a world beater set up but hoping good enough to compete with my digital. I am hoping I like it more than my digital but in honestly my digital is very good. 

I need more actual experience of owning, trying and hearing stuff to know for sure what this is all about. I am a seasoned audiophile but vinyl newbie have after reading the settings on phonostage are simple and will be best served by a SUT I went for it. I hope it works out. I have not totally decided on the Denon yet.

My other friend told me to just get a Dynavector 20x2 because my SUT will work great with it and it is better than the Denon but I am not so sure. A lot people really like this Denon. I just want to best sounding cart I can get for around $600 - $800 range. Thnks guys
Do you guys think this is better than the Denon for $600 for my gear and set up:

Dynavector 20X2 Phono Cartridge High-Output (Less than 50 hours) for $750.00

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/cartridges-dynavector-20x2-phono-cartridge-high-output-less-than-5...

Maybe offer $600 for this or is the Denon better for $600?
Thanks guys. 
I would buy the new Denon and use it with the SUT you have into the ML with the MM settings. The same as @chakster recommended above

@ fsmithjack, To give you some impression about the prices.

In Europe the used Denon S1 is above 1000 euro. I bought my

in USA for $900 (NOS) . So will get a bargain for $600.

Thanks guys - I thought it was a good deal - my buddy always hooks me up - and I am going for the Denon but he thinks I should try the Van Hull first - saying once he fixes, glues a little part it will be awesome -

i need to ask him more about this. He said it was a Van hull Black Heart Grass hopper - I have found nothing on this - only found Black Heart by  Kiseki Blackheart and thought maybe it was modded or repaired by Van Hull but then not sure where the grass hopper comes in - I am lost on this one and is why I am leaning toward the NOS Denon cart but he said he had it forever and it is an amazing cart - not sure what setting or even after repairs it will be ok or not? Anyone know about this or maybe just stick to the safe Denon nos cart? Thanks 
Buy the original cartridge, not a repaired one, if the Denon is NOS go for it, if the Denon has no tip and must be repaired it's another story. 
Thanks chakster

The Denon is NOS NIB. The Van hull I think its a piece of the body that is lose or broken. Yes I like the idea of a brand new cart very much


Dear @fsmithjack : First than all I want to tell you that the best SUT is not SUT at all.

Your up-dated 326S has enough gain for the very low output in the Denon S1: NO problem at all and wroks fine at 200 ohms. I owned not only this Denon but around 200+cartridges and the Accurate by Clearaudio and this cartridge is really good too as is the Blackheart by VDH.
So not easy to pull the triger for any of them. Forgeret about that Dynavector you name it. 
I prefer the Accurate or the VDH over the S1. Only ask to the seller the operation condition on both cartridges.

Put on sale that SUT you bougth because you don't need it and only degrades the cartridge signal due that that cartridge signal must comes at the input of the great 326s through additional IC cables and obviously additional input and output connectors and the solder used inside those cables. All these and other things destroy the critical/sensitive and delicated cartridge signal and you can't recovery that original signal.

You already own the best option: a DIRECT connection between the cartridge/tonearm, nothing can beats this and with an additional advantage: your 326s does not use internally a SUT to achieve the gain as with tube phono stages.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.




Thank you - great info!

Man I could have used the money on the SUT and got a better cart. I didn't have a cart yet and one showed up used on Audiogon for a good price so thought I better grab it. Because I am a newbie a couple of things I read where the No.326s phono is decent but not up to the linestage which is fantastic and that a SUT makes it a little more real and makes the sound nicer and overall improves the sound.

I thought I might have a great bang for buck phono set up with the phono boards being $800 and the Bob's Device being $720 I thought I was cooking with gas. The linestage in the No.326s us truly the best I have ever owned and love it. I was searching far and wide for the right pre, It's a $10k preamp (but bought used paid less then half that) so thought to add a phono for $800 would be great value but then I read some things saying its not that versatile with low output mc carts and that's why I went for the SUT. We live and lean I guess. 
Guys - I just found this video of my new to me turntable that I will use this Denon S1 cart with. Give you an idea of what I am working to set up.

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3spiIqz-zk

It is Kevin Deal / Upscale Audio showing the table I just bought used from the original owner for about 1/2 price. He bought in August 2017 Love clean used gear mostly because I can't afford this stuff for the new prices.

Kevin made a small special order batch of VPI tables he says which is so cool. It looks way better in this video than the pics that I just bought based on. I am now even more psyched!  

The guys who sold it to me said he went into Upscale to get a Prima Luna tube amp and came out with this VPI table and a Manley Chinook phonostage and a Prima Luna integrated.  

He said it was an impulse purchase and he only used a couple times because he owns a Gerrard 401 with SME arm and he said this table is nice but he likes the sound of his 401 better. One mans not good enough is another's best I've ever owned. Works for me :)

Keep the Cinemag and try it with cartridge into the ML's mm phono input. After a trial listening period (hours, days, weeks) unplug it and try the cartridge into the ML's mc phono input. Go through another listening period. By then you should know which YOU prefer! Rauliruegas's blanket condemnation of SUT's is plainly WRONG!  The World Esteemed Company Ortophon offers the SPU mc cartridge with a pair of transformers built into the integral headshell. I doubt that Mr.R knows as much about building mc cartridges and step up transformers as the engineers at Ortophon! Buy the Denon NOS and stop worrying - ENJOY THE MUSIC!
Thanks roberjerman - but this is purely about about my learning and there are no worries involved at all. Audio is my hobby and learning about it part of the hobby for me and so never any worries. It does the opposite for me it takes the worries away. With this post I already am a much smarter person about this topic so I am just trying to learn.

We have over foot of snow hitting as I am writing and the Governor just declared a state of emergency and I have the Celtic replay on from last night on and some Chinese food left overs in the microwave and it is a very rare snow day off for me. Have some old school Muddy Waters Honey Bee playing and not a worry anywhere in sight and just enjoying my day. 
OK guys - how about this - need your help on this one

Kiseki Blue Gold Spot phono cartridge - used 200 hours $800

To get this price I need to buy soon asap - more than I want to spend but is it as good as I am being told it is.

It is used so other than trusting the seller we have no idea but he says it is mint with 200 hours or stick to the  NOS Denon S1 for $600 and be happy???

What do you guys think????

I have no clue to need your help!    
He is a reputable seller with tons of positive feedback. 
stick to the NOS Denon S1 for $600 and be happy
Post removed 
Dear @fsmithjack : My advise is try to stop buying analog because bargain price. As you said you are a roockie with this analog alternative. Stop to follow makking more mistakes because you said you don't have the kind of money you could need sooner or latter. Sooner because your roockie mistakes.

You have a great digital system and if you want to approach ( you can't even digital with the analog alternative but can be near it. ) it you need a way better advises that the one from that gentleman on Up Scale audio that at the end what he really matters is to take your money one way or the other ( and nothing wrong with that, at the end that's his job. ) from where you bougth your TT/tonearm and was him who told you about the Prima Luna tube unit: go figure ! the kind of advise he gave you when tubes are not for analog or digital in our times.

That Kiseki I don't want it if one gentleman wants to gives me as a gift.

Unfortunatelly you already has the wrong tonearm for any cartridge, VPI unipivot design. Nothing is worst than unipivot design.

 You can do what ever you want because is your money and I don't care how you spend it but I posted here and everywhere Agon always trying to help. If this trying to help " hit " the other gentlemans ignorance level then sorry for that. We need to learn.I told you to put on sale that SUT because it's a terribel mistake using it with your up-dated Levinson unit. With the money you can get for the SUT and the money you have you can buy a way better cartridge on what you are trying to buy.The cartridge is the more important and critic item in the analog chain because it's the cartridge the responsable to pick up or not the original recorded signal on those precious LP grooves.Take a little of time to make a good decision.Please read what will be my answer to @roberjerman.Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
Dear @roberjerman: Thank’s for your kindy words but you have no idea of what you are talking about.

If you know what you are taling about please explain to all of us ( mainly to the OP. ) the why’s of the statement you posted in reference to me:

" blanket condemnation of SUT’s is plainly WRONG! "

I’m sure you can’t do it but I can explain my " blanket ..... to SUT ":

firt re-read what was my advise to the OP about the SUT’s and why.

Now, I know very well the Mark Levinson design approach of its units in those times not only because I own and owned Levinson electronics and heard in my system not only the 326s but the Reference 32 and I know very well because I own ( thank’s to some luck in the past. ) the full circuit diagramas of my today amps ( modified by me. ) and of other Levenson amp.

The Levinson engennering design and overall detail on the execution of that design is just second to none, even for today standards !!. Got me?

Do you now that the Reference 32 was the first Preamp in the long story of Levinson that was name it Reference? do you know what means with Levinson the word Reference in one of its units?

Certainly you have not idea. In my experience over the years when Levinson use the Reference title is because the unit design is a true and real Reference, not as other manufacturers that use that title as marketing tool.

The Levinson Reference is that: a Reference against any other similar electronics designs, even today. Levinson units are true bullet proof units and its engeneering levels are ( again ) second to none. )

My 20.6 monoblocks are Reference and only for you can ( or maybe not. ) have an idea of the Levinso quality in its design my amps works with out problem even at 0.1 ohm if a speaker need it ! ! working all the way down in true pure class A with non-feedback.

Please take a look to this J.Atkinson measurements in the 326s and observe that’s output impedance is just the fenomenal: 29 ohms ! ! ! and read the last sentences by that true expert that’s J.Atkinson:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/mark-levinson-no326s-line-preamplifier-measurements


additional to that the OP unit is up-dated with the Reference 32 phono circuit boards ! ! ! and you want to " kill " this marvelous electronics passing the valious cartridge signal through a SUT? ?

Do you know why exist SUT’s in the past and today? because I know for sure but you have to learn by your self.

Btw, I own and owned no less than 20 Ortofon LOMC/MI cartridges and I admire always Ortofon and I know why they have SUT’s. Problem is that you don’t know and can’t even imagine it.

Btw, I own at least 4 SUT’s and owned in the past several of them but this is not the main issue here.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


Awe come on man (rauliruegas) that is part of the fun getting the best gear I can for the money I have saved in my audio account. I can only afford what i can afford and I never claimed I am some genius that always makes perfect decisions but I try to get the best equipment I can for the money I have saved up and this includes looking for bargains.

I mean what is the alternative to overpay for gear? How does that help me?  

I can not buy gear with money I don't have so getting the best gear I can for the money I have is sort or a natural way to proceed? 

I mean its audio and its fun. I come on here and ask questions to help me make better informed decisions but that's all really. There are no worries at all about any of it. I don't want to make mistakes but if I do then it willl be because I tried doing what I thought was best and it didn't work out. Oh well I will learn from it. I am not sure I have made a mistake, many people tell me the SUT was a good buy and will work well with the Denon so i will wait to hear it before I know it actually was a mistake. 

So here was the deal. I had $5,000 saved from the sale of some nice but no being used cables and a nice but extra amp and wanted to get into vinyl but for $5000.00. There are a million ways to do this but looking for what I think is the best bang for buck is how I went about it. How else should I do it?

Should I go on Audio Adviser and buy a brand new Music Hall or Rega (very fine tables by the way) and buy a new Clearadio cart? I thought of that and read and looked around and made my decisions. 

I bought a $7,000 - 4 month old table that still has the plastic wrap all around the plinth for $3,000.00.

I bought brand new $2,000 dual mono phono boards for my Mark Levinson No.326s preamp for $800

I bought a $1500 Bob's Device 1131 SUT for $720

Now a NIB NOS Denon SL-S1 cart for $600   

This is how I spent $5,120.00. I did this by trying to get the best gear I can for the money. So if I didn't try to get bargin then what would $5000 buy me? I mean if I had $20k then maybe I would not be so focused on bang for buck but I am not rich and this is money I had so I tried to be smart and put the best analogue system together for $5,000.00

Maybe I did good and maybe I didn't but ether way I am not that worried about it. I do what i think is best and hope it works. I am pretty chill with audio. Not because I have money to burn but because I mostly buy used. I can sell anything I buy today tomorrow for the same or more other than carts or tubes so why worry? Its all good.

I enjoy buying, listening to it, selling it, reading about it, writing about it, learning about it and sharing what I learn but there are no worries. 

If you have a hobby and it gives you worries than i would argue its not a good hobby then. Hobbies are for spare time, to enjoy and have fun with.I don't do it for a living or anything other than simple recreation. 

I am new to vinyl but I'm a long suffering digital guy but none of it is that big of a deal. 

If I like vinyl I am sure I will start to collect a bunch of carts but was asking to get a little more info not because I am worried. Why would anyone make that assumption? Trust me no worries just trying to learn more about some stuff from someone that knows more than I do. No more or no less.

On my snow day just trying to get some feedback on some items but light feedback as this is for fun and leisure :)
The cool thing is if the SUT doesn't work out to sound good I paid $720 for it so it should sell in a day or 2 for that. Love buying high quality used because I get to try it and if not what I want no or real small financial penalty. This helps when you have a tight budget (my $5,000) 
Dear @fsmithjack : """  I enjoy buying, listening to it, selling it, reading about it, writing about it, learning about it and sharing what I learn... """


that's all about, good but who is " worried/sorry / for that is that as roberjerman you are willing to kil/try the SUT. No problem but do it after 100 hours or more on that Denon not before it.

Why? because you need to know if that up-dated 326s is working in good shape where the phono boards are the main " subject " in that preamp.

If at the end you like more the additional SUT distortions than the direct 326s then that's up to you that's the one that must live with that music/sound levels.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
That makes sense and is a good idea.

I'm glad because before this post I didn't really know anything about the Denon S1 or really that my preamp was able to drive it on its own.

I am glad to know the Denon is a nice cart and that it might sound nice with my pre straight up.

Then I can sell the SUT get a better phono cable and base for under my table. I have a Solid Tech Hybrid Rack but the shelves are 19" wide and my table is 22" wide so thinking of getting a 3 inch thick maple butches block 18x24 and put it in the top and have it overhang a couple inches on the side. Need to find a good source for this.  
I run a Denon DL-S1 now. If you are using just the phone amp in the Levinson, it needs to be able to have 67 db. If not, you need a phono amp that can get 6 db or a SUT.
What I find interesting is your Nordost/Cardas cables.  They are the antithesis of each other.  I just wonder what sound comes out
Dear @fsmithjack : You really was in a hurry but now I understand that you have no worries but I can give you an example of what you losted with almost the same money because that " hurry ":

720.00 for the SUT plus 600 for the S1 = 1,320.00 ( btw, if the seller of the up-dated 326S was the same of the SUT then he was ignorant, stupid or only want to take your money. I hope the seller were diferent and with out knew you own the 326S. ).

Well this Ortofon A90 ( was designed to celebrate the Ortofon 90 anniversary. ) even with 400 hundred hours on ( still with at least other 400 hundred hours on it. ) is way way over better quality performer ( if quality level is important to you. ) vs not only the S! but aginst all the other cartridges posted here. The A90 is today still one of the best cartridge ever:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/cartridges-ortofon-mc-a90-phono-cartridge-2017-12-06-analog


"""   get a better phono cable and base for under my table . """, yes this will be a very good move.


@rantzmar , the OP Levinson has 78dbs that’s more than enough.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
I too was offered a great deal on a nearly new DL-S1 several years ago. It was used on a VPI Classic. I did not have enough gain in my pre at the time (ProJect Tube Box II SE) but I was able to secure a Bob's Cinemag SUT. I just could not get the sound I wanted (was somewhat lean and treble focused but brilliant on some recordings). So I then researched better phono stages and stepped up to a Pass Xono. But after countless hours playing with loading I still was never fully happy with it.

I now have an Audio Technica ART9 and my search is over. Read the huge thread here on it....
For a time just prior to the product’s discontinuation, the street price for a new DL-S1 was around $500. I purchased one from Comet Supply at that price. Performance is not far off an ART7 (a bit threadbare as you suggest) but with clarity and dynamic swing at +68db-76db gain through AQVOX or Pass X-25 phono stages. At +68db with the AQVOX there was a bit of background noise. I can’t imagine that the Levinson’s +60db gain will be anything close to noiseless, but should be sufficient for the purpose of a casual comparison to Levinson with Cinemag. In any case, it’s a worthy introduction to vinyl. I think there are lots of better used turntable and arm choices than the VPI for around $3K, but it is certainly an audiophile-vetted product with a high ease-of-use quotient and predictable resale value, should the OP desire to move up.
I came close. There is a Gerrard 301 Full rehab in here for $4500 with a Dynavector 20x2 Cart but I went for the VPI. It’s funny but I tried for a while and looked and if had someone to give me some good ideas I would have tried another table. I didn’t want a Rega or Music Hall or Project or any of the older Technics or Thorens or Denons. I wanted something kind of modern and not super hard to use and If I am not crazy about It I can get my money back. A decent starter table well it’s a bit better than that but that’s what it is. There was an Aritisan Fidelity Lenco L75 with a nice Origin Live arm but was out of my range. There was an AmaZon Reference with DP-6 Morch 12” arm but I needed to have some acrylic company out of the country make me a custom board and then drill holes and I’m too much a newbie for all that but that was close. It’s funny because I was a tube guy for years and bought tons from Kevin - his tubes are awesome even if he is joe salesman. I saw those VPI tables Kevin had for $7,000 and loved them and wanted one. Was looking for weeks and one popped up and bam I hit it like pigeons on popcorn! I also have met Harry and think he’s a super nice guy and there is good demand for their tables. Sure there is better there always is but would have been open to better table and still am if you guys have any advice. I flip gear often and am not afraid to play around with something and ship it right the heck out if I am not enamered with it. No worries. The only thing before my Magico’s that I was attached to was my Bricasti. That thing is never going anywhere except back to Brian ever 6 Months for the latest hard add upgrade. Rather than releasing new products he just keeps upgrading the old one and that keeps his sales brisk and he loyal owners super happy. What tables are better for $3,000 - I love to learn new stuff. Thanks 

I like assumptions to be made explicit such that we can see

on what grounds the conclusions are made.

My assumptions regarding SUT are :

1. The inductance  and impedance of both need to

     correspond.

2. The SUT's are divided in 3 ''categories'': L,M and H.

    There is no exact or precise  information about the

    ''impedance range'' of each. Say 2-8 Ohms for Low;

     8- 15 (?) for M and above 15 for H.

      Because the usual approach is to search for the

     'right SUT'' for our specific MC cart this ''impedance

      matching'' is a kind of ''hit and miss'' affair .

3.   What about inductance? I have no idea about inductance

      of  any of my + 30 MC carts. How then should I search

      for the ''corresponding inductance''?

 Assuming that designers by Denon know the theory they

  have designed  DL-S1 to correspond with AU-S1 SUT.

So probably one will get a ''killer combo'' for about $2000.

With an decent MM phono-pre one does not need to buy

ridiculous expensive MC phono-pre as added advantage.

@fsmithjack

I tried for a while and looked and if had someone to give me some good ideas I would have tried another table. I didn’t want a Rega or Music Hall or Project or any of the older Technics or Thorens or Denons. I wanted something kind of modern and not super hard to use.

Luxman PD-444 DD drive motor was made by Micro Seiki, no need to hassle with plinth as it has an amazing cabinet and platforms for 2 tonearms of any size including "12inch. In my opinion this is the best design ever made. http://www.thevintageknob.org/luxman-PD444.html


@fsmithjack Why did you lose interest in the Feikert? That has a more sophisticated drive system than the VPI, and armboard options that accommodate pretty much any tonearm including 12".

@chakster +1 Luxman PD-444, among of my favs. However it sounds like the OP is not interested in vintage at this time. Too bad, as some of those DD models sound superb, and their technology is beyond the grasp of most current TT manufacturers.

Anyhow, VPI is a safe choice. 

Dear @dgarretson : The @fsmithjack 326S hast 78db of total gain. You have to remember that the 326S has  18db ( you can choose other gain in this preamp. ) and the Reference 32 phono circuit boards ( that was the 326S ud-date. ) has another 60db ( you can choose here too the gain you need it. ).

This up-dated 326S still today is very hard to beat it. The OP is a lucky guy to own it.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
Dear @fsmithjack : The real problem in your VPI is that " terrible " unipivot tonearm that the only " mission " is to destroy the cartridge job, any cartridge. What you need is a way better tonearm in that or in other TT.

Cartridge and tonearm are not two separate items, both are and works as a unit. You need a lot better tonearm.

In the other side and additional of what I told you about not to use that SUT you have to remember that all SUTs are frequency limited at both extremes and its generated ( internally/externally. ) noise levels are outperformed easily for your Refrence 32.

Do you think that Levinson or J.Curl or N.Pass was an stupid designers as some persons that knows nothing because its ignorance about SUTs?. If the best choice were SUTs then all the phono boards will be passive and not active like yours that are THE BEST AND ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE HIGH QUALITY PERFORMANCE LEVELS IN ANY LOMC CARTRIDGE. SUTs can’t do it and I repeat that only people whit very high ignorance levels or stupidity can recomend it and I know why they recomend it and is because they never owned the Levinson you have or can’t achieve ( because money or something else. ) a good active phono stage design.

This subject only confirm what I posted from several times in this Agon forum and other internet forums: that the corrupted AHEE makes a good " job " to sold many lies like SUT or tubes and still does today.

Good that you learned and left the tubes for SS. Today is the only alternative that puts to all of us nearer to the recording that’s my main target.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.

I have to agree with Raul on this one . I have been trying out different  setups with my Nagoka jewel tone ribbon cartridge @  .04mv and my new Vallab LCR -1 Phono stage . I first ran the my jewel tone through my Techniques SH305S SUT @    3 Ohm  and the phono stage set to 52db .
Then I took the SUT out of the chain set the gain on the Vallab to 72db and load to 46 Ohm . The detail improved as well as the sound stage .With the SUT in the system it had more warmth to its presentation and less air .  


chakster - that Luxman is awesome looking - never heard of it or seen it before - cool table and I will remember it and keep on the look out for one but that would have caught my eye because it looks amazing.

dgarretson - everyone ratted me out on the Feikert table saying the arm is junk and way under the class of the rest of the table and it was $1,700 more but really as I said I am a newbie to vinyl and I saw the Aries limited table a few months back and really liked it and I wanted one - the Upscale Audio VPI ones because everyone has a Prime or Classic but these are rare and unique tables well from my uneducated on turntables point of view anyways. I just loved the look and I know a lot of people on Audiogon bash VPI tables but there are a lot of happy owners of these tables in the world and they can't be as bad a people say because there wouldn't be so many people that love them and so many out there but really I remember he was asking $7000 for them and he had a demo one for $5,200 and at the time I couldn't afford it but wanted it and was offering to trade stuff and was trying to sell stuff to get one and he sold and I was bummed. Months went by and I sold my extra gear and got my Levinson and then got lucky enough to find the NOS Reference No.32 phono boards so I was all in for a table.

I had it down to:

Clearaudio Ovation with Clarify Arm - out of my range but i liked it a lot
Transrotor Zet 3.2 w/Oracle SME arm but it was a little intimidating for a newbie and $1500 more and if something broke and went wrong I would have no help so that too much table for me in my situation
Garrard 301 rehab was nice but $1500 more
VPI Prime Signature
VPI Classic Signature 
Artisan Fidelity Lenco L75 Origin Live Arm
Acoustic Signature Triple X with TA1000 Arm
Dr. Fieckert Woodpecker w/Jeco Arm

I was mulling these over and leaning toward Woodpecker and Garrard and then the Upscale VPI Aries showed up for sale and I was like oh man this is the table that started me wanting a table in the first place so I jumped on it.

I am sure there are better tables this I don't doubt but I am really new to vinyl and the 3D arm can't be that bad. Stereophile recommends it and that might not matter but my hope was that this table with a SUT but it looks like I don't need or even want a SUT now but thought I needed it but thought this table and SUT and my Levinson and the Denon cart would be nice way to get rolling with Vinyl. I mean I know this sounds dum but I liked the way the VPI looks and I thought all thing being equal why not get the one I like but now I know that probably wasn't the best idea but still hope its a decent table.